Aug. 23 2013 12:00 AM

Six area artists get 2013 Clark Fellowships


Aug. 21, 2013 – When the World Bicuspid Conclave hits Honolulu, your average dentist can afford to go. But how does your average icon painter scrape up the dough to go to an icon painting workshop? Ingrid Blixt, a Lansing artist and art instructor, found out Tuesday.

Blixt is one of six Lansing-area artists who snagged grants of up to $1,500 from the second annual Chris Clark Fellowship Program for Creative Professionals, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing announced Tuesday.

The grants aren’t glamorous, but they’re bread-and-butter help for independent artists who often lack capacity-building support most professionals take for granted.

Blixt will go to a six-day icon-painting workshop in Maggie Valley, N.C. in October. There she’ll study specific techniques of iconography, network among peers (how many could there be?) and grow her teaching practice.

A Clark grant will give percussionist Samuel Gould, an East Lansing musician, some extra bang. He’ll use it to study with world-renowned percussionist Valerie Naranjo in New York City and buy some high-quality African percussion instruments. Gold is also expanding his musical horizon with two new ensembles. One will play jazz-world fusion; the other will be an all-percussion ensemble that will perform traditional African music with area dancers. 

Vocalist Mardra Thomas, who settled in East Lansing last year with her husband and MSU Professor of Jazz, Reggie Thomas, will use her grant to rehearse, record and master her own CD. The grant specifically supports the cost of rehearsal and recording at East Lansing’s Glenn Brown Studios.

Keeping equipment up to date is a big problem for many artists.

When the copy machine or the drill press breaks down, most of us just ask the front office for a new one. But when an artist needs a slab roller or microphone, she usually has to requisition the money out of her own cash-strapped hide.

Thanks to another Clark fellowship, Barbara Hranilovich, a Lansing artist and teacher known for her ubiquitous paintings at Biggby coffee shops, will get the North Star 18" slab roller she has long coveted. She’ll use the roller, and other new equipment, both for printmaking and for teaching. Deborah Fehrenbach, a St. Johns resident and jeweler, will buy equipment that will help her move into three-dimensional designs. Jane Kramer, an East Lansing resident and photographer, will get a new Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera to help her with multi-media, documentary and fine art projects.

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing established the Chris Clark Fellowship Program for Creative Professionals in 2012 to honor Clark, a longtime native of the area and supporter of the Arts Council.

For more information on the Chris Clark Fellowship Program for Creative Professionals provided by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, please contact Barb Whitney, Program Manager at (517) 853-7582 or